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Opinion | The Galaxy A 2022 line is disappointing, and the charger was the last straw

Samsung just finished updating its phone lineup for the first semester, with its flagship S models, and the entry-level and mid-range phones in the Galaxy A range, coming with new phones for 2022. But after a very interesting 2021 lineup, this year’s Galaxy A line just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Don’t get me wrong, the new Galaxy A models will still occupy their usual spots in the most sold smartphones lists for 2022 — as a reminder, some analysts even pointed out that the Galaxy A12 was the most shipped phone last year.

The changes between the A52, A52s, and A53 are that big (with some drawbacks) / © mojo cp /

Never settle

Of course, the Galaxy A12 / A22 / A02 are entry-level models that in past seasons would be slotted in the Galaxy Young/Y/J ranges. But even their successors are showing the first signs of a trend that started with Apple — who else? — that took the Android flagship market and is now creeping in the basic phones.

³Wall charger sold separately; use only Samsung approved chargers and cables.

You read that right, even sub-$300 now comes without a charger. Maybe customers in developed countries wouldn’t mind that, but the change also affects buyers in third world countries, such as India, or my home country Brazil, where most users still didn’t leave microUSB.

That leaves the door open to the Chinese brands, which can seduce the average consumer with their (almost) exaggerated charging standards, with not only their power output as a selling point but also the fact that the adapter is bundled with the phone. To sum up, it is fast, and it is free.

One more thing

But the disappointment doesn’t stop there — and I say that while considering upgrading from a Galaxy S9 to an S22 (both Snapdragon), also, my parent’s home has more Galaxy phones than an average Seoul household… — after the unexpected launch of the Galaxy A52s last year, Samsung took a step back with the A53, offering a seemingly worse SoC.

We still have to test the 2022 model, but early benchmarks indicate that the unnamed Samsung SoC — codename s5e8825, known as Exynos 1280 — is closer in performance to the Snapdragon 750G in the Galaxy A52 5G than the 778G in the A52s.

Galaxy A53 A52s
The A52S (SM-A528) is almost 40% faster than the A53 (SM-A536) / © Geekbench

The A52s numbers match those we found with other phones equipped with the 778G, like the Moto Edge 20. And even if fabbed with Samsung Foundry’s “5nm” process, TSMC’s 6nm still seems more efficient than that.

The evidence was reinforced last year after the Snapdragon 780G disappeared from the market. Fabbed with Samsung’s 5nm process, the mid-range SoC was quietly replaced with the 778G (TSMC N6) after equipping only one phone.

That model’s successor, the terribly named Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, with the Snapdragon 778G got around 15% better battery life than the older model, according to GSMArena’s tests.

The average user probably wouldn’t notice the performance difference between the two SoCs, unless playing a game probably. But that additional oomph — and the lesser need to recharge the battery — would make the phone much more future-proof, especially now that Samsung promises 5 years of security patches for the A53 line.

I understand that last year’s upgrade from the Galaxy A51 to the A52 5G (and then the A52s) was practically impossible to repeat in 2022, unless Samsung opted for much more expensive components during the current global shortage, but still, the removal of the charger was the last straw that made the other NextPit editors allow me to write this rant.

Anyway, do you think I overreacted to a non-issue? Do you believe Samsung did the best it could under the current circumstances? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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